Tax Lien Lawyers in Foster City
In Foster City, California, a "lien" is a security interest placed on a piece of property, normally land or a house, to secure the payment of a debt. It typically gives a creditor the right to take ownership of any equity that exists in the property, to secure the payment of the debt. If the owner sells the property, the creditor may also be entitled to the proceeds of the sale, up to the amount owed. It can also give the holder of the lien a higher priority status, giving them an advantage over competing creditors, if the debtor files bankruptcy.
A "tax lien," then, is a lien held by the government to collect a tax-related debt from a private entity, such as a person or corporation in Foster City, California.
Tax liens in Foster City, California are ineffective if the taxpayer doesn't have any property to place the lien on. However, essentially any property, including that which the taxpayer obtains after the lien goes into effect, can be affected by a tax lien.
Tax Lien Procedure in Foster City, California
Imposing a tax lien in Foster City, California is usually an uncomplicated process. Typically, the tax authorities simply have to make a determination that the taxpayer is delinquent in their taxes, and that imposing and enforcing a tax lien will actually be worth the effort.
At this point, they will send the taxpayer a written notice stating that they owe a some amount of money in back taxes, and that they have a small window of time (commonly 10 days or less) to pay it.
If this 10-day period expires without payment, the tax lien arises automatically. Once this happens, the tax authorities in California have all the rights in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, including priority over competing creditors.
However, there are limits to how and when a tax lien can be enforced, at least under federal law. The IRS has 10 years to enforce a tax lien in Foster City, California or anywhere else in the U.S. If it never bothers to take action to seize property that's subject to a tax lien, the lien simply ceases to exist after 10 years. This rule is in place to ensure that the government does not sit on its rights, and to prevent potentially-valuable property from being encumbered indefinitely. Basically, it creates a measure of certainty for both parties.
How Can a Foster City, California Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you are notified by the government that you owe back taxes in California, and that they are going to pursue a tax lien to collect their money, things can get very convoluted, extremely quickly.
Accordingly, it's important that you retain a tax attorney in Foster City, California to ensure that whatever legal rights you have in this situation are protected. Your attorney will also be able to advise you on how to best deal with the situation.